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South Coast Air Quality Management District to Spotlight Clean Technology in Environmental Justice Communities
By William A. Burke, Ed.D.
Published September 20, 2018

Dr. William A. Burke, chairman of the SCAQMD, speaks at the 3rd Annual Environmental Justice Conference. (Courtesy Photo)

The South Coast Air Quality Management District will host its fourth annual environmental justice conference at the Huffington Center at the Saint Sophia Cathedral, just west of downtown Los Angeles in the Pico-Union area, on Wednesday, Sept. 26.

As the SCAQMD’s chairman for more than two decades, I have witnessed the tremendous progress the agency has made to clean the air in the South Coast basin. One of the key elements to SCAQMD’s success in reducing air pollution is advancement of clean-air technologies. That’s why I’m pleased that this environmental justice conference will focus on the role of these technologies.

Estelle Reyes, director of community engagement at the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI), will emcee our event. At the LACI, Reyes focuses on creating a pipeline for talented individuals to enter the clean-tech and sustainability sectors. Also, she is developing programs for high school students, establishing college internships and creating workforce development opportunities for women to enter into the clean-tech job market.

This conference brings together a diverse group of representatives from academic and research institutions, non-profit organizations, and the green-tech industry. Panels and breakout sessions will include discussions on:

• Creating a more inclusive culture and providing training and education for residents in environmental justice communities;

• Factories, refineries, and other sources that contribute to air pollution, steps taken to reduce their emissions using green technologies and the health benefits of these changes;

• How to apply for grants, rebates and programs that help fund green technology and transitions to eco-friendly systems; and

• Building partnerships amongst green technology manufacturers and community-based programs or associations, and how private companies are including communities into their business practices and innovations.

With over 800 employees, and air monitoring and analysis tools ranging from small sample canisters to a state-of-art laboratory, we at SCAQMD are on the cutting edge of air quality management. This is one reason why SCAQMD has hosted air quality officials and researchers from all over the world seeking to learn about SCAQMD’s successes and challenges.

It has been a long road to get to this point. I hope that we are able to continue on this path to ensure that all communities can help achieve clean air in our region.

To register online please visit https://2018ejconference.eventbrite.com. For more information please call: (909) 396-2432 or email: ejcp@aqmd.gov.
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